Norway

Eitrheim business, Norway

About the business

Founded

2000

Personnel

5 people

Livestock

-

Area under cultivation

Contracting business only

Crop rotation

-

Soil type

Mountain region

Annual precipitation

670 mm

Machinery

1 CLAAS XERION 3300 TRAC VC

1 CLAAS ARION 540

1 CLAAS ARION 640

About Norway

Population

approx. 5.1 million people

Area

approx. 385,200 km² (approx. 38.5 million hectares)

Area under cultivation

approx. 983,000 hectares

Number of farms

approx. 43,525

Average farm size

approx. 22.6 hectares

"If you are really interested in your work, you work ten times better than if you are only there for the money.”

 

But it is not unusual for winter to last most of the year in Hemsedal. The first snow can fall in October and the last flakes can still be falling in May. The coldest temperature Tormod Eitrheim can remember in Hemsedal was in 2010, when the thermometer showed minus 40 degrees Celsius! His wife and children do not see much of him during the long winter months because he doesn’t get home until 11 p.m. most days. During hard winters, when new snow falls regularly, he is only at home for a few hours of sleep. “This part of the year is very demanding for all of us,” Tormod Eitrheim explains. “For my drivers, myself and my family. But when I come home I go into my children’s bedrooms, I watch them. I’m there if they aren‘t sleeping well. I make sure that everything is OK.”

For Tormod Eitrheim, having children is a special gift: “I think machines and tractors are the coolest thing in the world to work with, but having kids is the best thing a human can ever experience. It’s another dimension to your life,” he says with pride. He would like to make sure his two sons and one daughter are brought up in the same way, that they all have the same opportunities, but more than anything he wants them to follow their dreams – in the same way that he was able to experiment so that he can live his dream now. The road he took was rocky at times, he even worked for the UN as a soldier for four years because he thought that was what would make him happy. But nowadays, he says, he is thankful that he has always been able to follow his heart. He now realises that he enjoys both helping people and sophisticated technology, and his current job offers him a combination of the two. He decided to start working as an independent contractor with his wife in 2000. “Life is short, and it’s important to do what you enjoy and feel is right. If you are really interested in your work, you work ten times better than if you are only there for the money.” Excellent work is “what gives every day a meaning.”

"In the end the machine was even better than I had expected."

 

“I had always had an idea of what my ‘dream tractor’ should look like, and when I saw this XERION at an agricultural show I realised that it had many of the features that I had drawn myself.” But it would be some time before he could buy his dream tractor because his machinery dealer in Norway was selling other brands of tractors. Three years later, he received a letter from his dealer: CLAAS tractors were now available in Norway. “I was really impressed,” admits Tormod Eitrheim. “Not many salesmen would remember something like that for three years without any contact. I thought it was really professional. I like that.” So he went along to try out the XERION. “Then I was convinced,” he recalls. “Although the XERION was expensive, the investment was worthwhile in every respect because in the end the machine was even better than I had expected. In fact, it was our best investment and has completely changed the way we work.” Another point which impressed him was the CLAAS customer service. “The quality of tractors must be high,” says Tormod Eitrheim “otherwise they would not last in my business. The tractors run a lot of hours every year and it’s quite heavy work. But good support is essential, even when you’ve got the best tractor in the world.”

However, there is one thing that even the best tractor in the world cannot solve: the discontent of some of the people he tries to satisfy day in, day out. “You need skin like an elephant to be in this business,” says Tormod Eitrheim. “When people get stuck in the snow in the morning, of course it’s not their fault, it’s the fault of the guy who hasn’t cleared the snow yet. Sometimes people can be very rude,” he says with a relaxed smile. But he still loves helping people, even though he can’t be everywhere all the time. It doesn’t bother him because “as long as the only thing people have to complain about is snow on the road, then I know that I live in a very good country.” He finds compensation for his sometimes stressful work, and the time pressure, in the incredible peace he experiences in the vastness of the mountains. Describing the rare moments when he consciously enjoys this peace, he explains: “When I’m clearing a mountain pass which has been closed all winter, there’s nothing else going on. No road noise, no people, no animals, just silence”.

Doing his best every day, for his customers, his family and himself is what drives Tormod Eitrheim. He admits to being a perfectionist who is “never satisfied” but this is what motivates him to do his work with passion all the time. Because he is convinced that there is no other way of achieving the most important things in life – happiness and satisfaction.


Picture gallery


Making-of – Behind the scenes